So, this is from the book I told you about that I have, and hopefully it's of some use. The book I have is http://www.amazon.com/Faeries-Deluxe-Col
Sadly, I don't have this edition, I only have the 25th anniversary edition, so there's only 176 pages instead of 208, but details, who needs 'em, eh? (I totally do; I want the updated version it's so pretty. *grabby hands*)
*Norse: Maggots emerging from the corpse of the giant Ymir transformed into Light Elves and Dark Elves.
*Icelandic: Eve was washing her children by a river when God spoke to her. She hid those she had not already washed out of awe and fear. God was all "You have all your brats here?" and she was like "Totally, dude". Then God was like "Yo, ho, you be trippin' if you be saying that, so the hidden ones shall be forever hidden from man. Word." The hidden kids became the elves or faeries and were known as Huldre Folk in Scandinavian countries. Huldre girls are supernaturally beautiful, but with long cow tails or else are hollow behind, presenting only a beautiful front.
Other places have them fallen angels; the heathen dead not good enough for Heaven but not bad enough for hell. Devon in England has them as the souls of unbaptised children, but these stem from Christianity's advent. Obviously these are only a couple of the possible origins.
They've been known to live under hills, with the Irish Gaelic word for faerie, "Sidhe" (Shee) meaning "people of the hills". Sometimes the tops rise up on pillars to reveal the lights that come from the faeries under the hill, usually some sort of party or something. Obviously you should never eat or drink something you're offered if you go to a faerie hill, since one bite or drink and you're stuck there for life. The food they serve may look delicious and like normal human food, and sometimes it is, but in most legends it's just glamored to look that way and instead is actually something like acorns, bugs, and water instead of fruit, roast meats, and fine alcohol. Faerie kisses can land you permanent residence in the faerie world, usually as a slave or servant of some sort, like those who eat or drink things at one of their feasts.
Music is something that faeries love, and if human musicians can please them, they can be heartily rewarded, and even possibly be captured if they make faeries happy enough; on the opposite end of the spectrum, if you piss them off, you can receive their anger.
There's a legend about a man named Lusmore who had a hump on his back, and he was walking home when he stopped to rest his legs. He heard beautiful music, and went to go investigate. Lusmore joined their company, and he took up the song that they were singing himself. The faeries were so pleased with this that they said "Lusmore! Lusmore! Doubt not, nor deplore, for the hump which you bore on your back is no more; look down on the floor, and view it, Lusmore!" The story of his hump became known, and he told his story to an old woman who hoped that it would help her friend's son who was also a humpback. Jack Madden, the son in question, was a bit of a douche, so when he heard the music, he was in such a hurry to get rid of his hump that he didn't even wait for the right moment to break in and start singing, and just popped in the first moment he found and bawled out words. Unfortunately for him, the faeries were pissed at this, and one said "Jack Madden, Jack Madden! Your words came so bad in the tune we felt glad in. This castle yo're had in, that your life we may sadden; here's two humps for Jack Madden!" Lusmore's hump was put upon Jack's back, and he obviously didn't survive long with such weight on his back.
Circles of mushrooms that indicate where faeries have danced. This can also lead to possible captivity, but usually what happens is if non-faerie folk enter the ring and dance, the dance may seem to last only minutes, possibly an hour or two or even a whole night, but the normal duration could be much longer than that, possibly years. The dancer can be rescued by a friend who, with others holding onto their clothes, steps into the ring (one foot in, one foot out), and pulls the dancer out.
Faerie hierarchy is very similar to human monarchical system. The most aristocratic, variously known as the Trooping or Heroic faeries, belong to organized courts like the Seelie Court in Scotland or the Daoine Sidhe (Theena Shee) tribe of Ireland. The most impressive of their aristocratic pursuits is to ride in solemn procession, which is known as a Rade.
PROTECTION AGAINST FAERIES
Turning clothes inside out (a glove turned inside out and tossed into a faerie ring can dispense the party-hard group); bells being rung; iron; the Bible (in Christian stories, obviously); running water (for some, not all); salt; rowan; red thread; daisy chains; stones with holes (to protect horses); St. John's wort.
There is a cod of honor between the various faerie world citizens, they'll have no problem pilfering goods, food, and livestock from all others.
Blond babies are the greatest risk, and human midwives are often taken to care for a faerie baby. One legend states that every seven years, the land of Faerie has to pay a tithe of TEIND to Hell and human captives are used as payment; many other stories state that human babies are taken to grow up with faeries and to inject new blood into the faerie race.
Changelings may be an ugly old elf, or even wood that's been enchanted to look like an exact replica of the stolen child. Sometimes it then seems to die and is buried, while the real baby is brought up in Faerieland to inject a dwindling and weak stock with a fresh, healthy human strain. Should the baby replica not die, it may develop a wizened or deformed appearance, or be sickly and fretful, or else have a voracious appetite. The changeling can be forced to betray its faerie nature by various means. One is to replace it on a red-hot shovel or throw it on the fire, where it then flies up the chimney. A more common method is to go through the motions of brewing water in empty halves of eggshells. The changeling will sit up and declare "I have seen the egg before the hen. I have seen the first acorn before the oak. But I have never seen brewing in an eggshell before", thus revealing its ancient age. It can then be thrown on the fire from which, laughing and shrieking, it will fly up the chimney. The true baby will then very likely be found at the door.
Applying faerie ointment to your eyelids (usually reserved for anointing the eyes of faerie babies with mortal mothers) will dispel the illusions cast by faeries. The mortal who dares do this on purpose can risk the faerie wrath, and be blinded as punishment. Telling a faerie which eye you saw the real thing out of will result in that eye being blinded, so never tell them. Picking a four-leaf clover and keeping it with you can also dispel faerie enchantments to your eyes.
Small flint arrowheads, which we now know were made by Stone-Age people, were attributed to elves. Where no physical shot was in evidence it was assumed the arrowhead made no would but instead induced paralysis, and the victim would be carried away to faerieland while a replica body was left in their place to whither and die. "Stroke," in the sense of paralytic seizure, is a word we still use, probably unaware that it originally meant "Elf-stroke".
Other things like rheumatism, cramps and bruising were also exclusively ascribed to the Faerie, caused by pinching faerie fingers, caused by incurring faierie displesure. Consumption was blamed on compulsive visits at night to faerie hills, leaving the victims weak and exhausted in the morning. Infantile paralysis was due to the baby really being a changeling, and any sort of deformities (lame legs, hunched backs, etc.) were caused by the elves.
Faeries can become immense in stature or shrink to the size of a speck of dust. Their appearance can also be drastically altered to look like whoever they want.
The Hyter Sprites of East Anglia have the ability to transform themselves into sand martins.
Cornish small people have a life cycle where each shape-shifting operation leads to a miniscule reduction in normal size, where, gradually over time, the last stage in the life cycle is reached and the faeries end their days as ants. Hence, in Cornwall, it's unlucky to kill ants.
Pixie often take the form of hedgehogs.
Some legends have dwarves spending the daylight hours as toads.
The Green Lady of Caerphilly takes on the appearance of ivy when she's not walking through the ruined castles she haunts.
Known to be thoroughly evil. While the Seelie Court members are most commonly seen around twilight, the Unseelie Court, in particular those members of it known as "The Host", fly through the air at night, snatching up any mortals unfortunate enough to fall in their path. The hapless victims are dragged along, beaten, and forced to participate in the heinous activities of their tormentors which include throwing throwing elf-shot at other men and livestock. This also includes a great variety of weird and terrifying monstrosites.
The spirit of the birch tree is called "The One with the White Hand." If the hand touches a head it leaves a wivid white mark and inflicts madness, but if it touchees a heart it is the touch of death.
And there's stuff that involves origns and some powers and stuff. There's a hell of a lot more, but since it doesn't seem like you need blurbs on some races and stuff, I won't bore you with those. So...enjoy. :3